Qualities of the Zodiac


The zodiac can also be divided into three ‘qualities’, which describe the way people respond to their environment and those around them. Four signs fall into each of the three categories: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.


Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn make up the quartet of signs that are known as Cardinal signs. In general people with Cardinal signs are active, enterprising and high achievers, although this can spill over into pushiness and over-ambition. Precisely how these Cardinal characteristics are expressed varies between the signs. For instance, in Capricorn, the Cardinal instincts will direct that person towards their career or public prestige. In Cancer, on the other hand, this energy will be directed towards the family, home life and emotional security, elements in the Sun sign of Cancer. Usually, where Cardinal signs lead others follow.


Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius make up the Fixed signs. As the name suggests, their qualities include consistency, loyalty and dependability. The Fixed nature usually denies change and can play King Cnut in their ability to challenge fundamental and natural law. Taureans are happiest in a predictable lifestyle, Leos like to know where they stand, whether in a relationship or a job, Scorpios prefer to keep things to themselves having examined and explored a situation – fixity therefore represents the status quo which they happily know. The contradiction to the rule is Aquarius, who adores change and new things. However, they are often loath to let go of what they already have.


Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces make up this group. In stark contrast to the Fixed signs, this group indicates flexibility, adaptability and an ability to move on and be mentally on the ball at all times. Very often this quartet enjoy having two or more things on the go at once. Gemini’s are notorious for getting bored – by having a second string to their bow they can work out their angst by moving onto something different when the time comes.

Here again the way the planets divide themselves between the qualities tells us much about a person’s personality. A large number of planets in Fixed signs, for instance, indicates someone who can be rigid in their views, perhaps even dogmatic. On the other hand, a preponderance of planets in Mutable signs suggests someone who is constantly changing and is unable to stick to anything for any length of time.

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